Conspiracy Theory

Elizabeth Langemak Click to

elangemak-232Elizabeth Langemak lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In Arkansas the red-wings
go down, nearly two thousand
slapped out of the night.
Beaks pointed, wings drawn
to their sides as men shot
from cannons, they land unseen,
on their sides, like pepper
shook out on a small Southern snow.
They fall in a scene now cut
from the movie.  They fall
together with a noise mistaken
for gunfire, or soundless
as dust falls, one to the ground
at a time.  One burrows up
from the earth.  Like a stone
from a sling one kills a deer
with a crack to the head.  When
they are poisoned or struck
or sucked whole through
the props of a low flying plane,
when they cramp, when wind
ices their sails or God
licks them with lightning
they fall.  They fall from great
heights, not as Icarus fell,
flailing, but they duck
into the dive and go down
as though grateful, or,
some say, they fell upright
like jumpers whose chutes
wouldn’t open, feet first
toward accordion crush.
Not every faller makes
for the grass but some
plunge into the false skies
of blue cars, some are
delivered to doorsteps
like badly thrown papers.
Before you wake up
some are dog-gotten or swept
downstream like small
ships, one lands in a nest,
one is not dead but crawls
into the hand of a man
dressed in orange.  While
you sip coffee and news
of air travels over the ground,
an enemy folds one into your bed.
Most are gone by noon. Some
were never there.  Wherever
they go to, they stay.


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